The deployment modes and functionality of embedded systems have evolved rapidly in recent years, thanks to widespread connectivity of Internet of Things devices and associated systems.
Yet the common security practices for most embedded systems remain largely unchanged from the days when they were isolated, air-gapped systems.
The shortfall in embedded system security is leading to sharply escalating risk of cyberbreaches. The trend is leading industry experts to advise embedded system developers to make security a top priority in design practices and product development.
Continue reading “Tracking and Maintaining the Security of Embedded Systems” »
Some product management decisions are hard. Product managers are constantly weighing trade-offs among time-to-market, functionality, competitive differentiation, development costs and other factors.
But some product decisions seem like no-brainers. Would you bring an IT product to market that puts customers at significantly increased risk of security breaches, privacy violations, potentially massive fines, and lawsuits?
“Of course not. That would be lunacy,” you can imagine the typical product manager as saying. Yet companies are shipping products every day that introduce this sort of risk into customer environments.
Continue reading “The Risks of a ‘Stale, Abandoned’ Product” »
In the past few years, there has been an explosive growth in the use of various types of mobile and IoT devices and use of open source based operating systems like Linux and Android. These use cases have forced application developers to test their applications against a rising number of devices with their current and legacy versions of operating systems.
This trend has resulted in the remote access board farm concept becoming an effective and efficient tool for solving these expanding test challenges, especially if configured as a cloud.
Continue reading “Remote Debugging Using a Board Farm” »
The motivation of hackers sometimes can be plain as day. Other times, not so much.
As attacks on Internet of Things (IoT) devices and deployments escalate, it is important to understand what these attackers are trying to accomplish. Understanding these motives, after all, can help us to pinpoint why a security vulnerability represents a risk, to prioritize mitigation and defenses, and to focus responses to attacks.
Continue reading “Who is attacking IoT? What do they want?” »
Research, reporting and commentary about Internet of Things security has made a flurry of technology headlines over the past several years. And industry observers are commenting that IoT security may finally be gaining the attention it deserves among technology decision makers.
So will 2019 be a milestone year for IoT security?
Or will more IoT security failures lead to more industry regulation, more vendor criticism and more conversation, not enough action?
Continue reading “Progress toward IoT security … a little less conversation, a little more action please” »
As 2018 draws to a close, we’ve seen a landmark year in cybersecurity for embedded systems and the Internet of Things (IoT), marked by escalating threats, new regulation, and broader attacks.
Here’s a look back at three important IT security milestones in 2018 and a look forward with some predictions for 2019 and beyond.
Continue reading “‘Be Secure or Be Fined’ … 2018’s major milestones in IoT and embedded system security” »
This blog post is published as a guest post on Embedded Computing Design.
In mid-November, the total count of vulnerabilities reported in 2018 surpassed the total for 2017, setting a new record for vulnerabilities with six weeks left in the calendar year.
At this pace, we are on track to see the count of Common Vulnerabilities & Exposures (CVEs), the authoritative index of confirmed IT system vulnerabilities, reach 16,000 or more vulnerabilities for this year, according to tracking site CVE Details.
Continue reading “Another Record Year for Vulnerabilities … Time to Join the CIA?” »
Have you been developing embedded devices for years? Are you considering building your first operating system based product and looking at using embedded Linux? You are not alone.
Many companies that have historically been developing MCU based products are now being pushed by market and customer requirements to offer better, more feature-rich and more capable devices. In order to deliver the desired features, many new designs require a combination of MCUs and MPUs. Both of these are used in IoT systems to support cloud, gateway to edge functionality.
Continue reading “Ready to tackle embedded Linux MPU development with Windows … Do you know your options?” »
As the flood of vulnerabilities continues to rise, attention is turning to how embedded system products can be made more secure.
Almost 20 years ago, the concept of security by design was a popular new trend in software development. The focus on baking in security at product design stages was driven by the massive rise in on-line applications, e-commerce features and other Internet-connected, web-enabled software.
As these systems and applications were deployed and became widespread, the expanding attack surface made them attractive targets for attackers looking to steal user information and financial data. So naturally the industry’s response was to rethink and reinvent security in the new threat environment. That meant defining best practices for creating more secure applications at the design stage.
Continue reading “The new focus on ‘Security by Design’” »
Is your product the “Volvo” of embedded system products? For decades, carmaker Volvo has been known as a maker of safe vehicles.
While all makes of cars are generally much safer than in decades past, and some observers rank some other brands’ models higher in safety, there is no dispute that Volvo has made safety a cornerstone of its brand. Like other car brands have focused on qualities like luxury, reliability or the driving experience, Volvo has emphasized safety as a chief value of its products.
Perhaps soon we will see a Volvo-style strategy emerging from the makers of embedded system devices and the Internet of Things (IoT). In fact, with the volume of security vulnerabilities reaching an all-time high, there’s a prime opportunity for a device maker to become known market-wide as a “security first” product developer whose customers are more protected from cyberattack.
Continue reading “Vulnerabilities keep piling up … time to make security a product differentiator?” »